I have a confession and I want to tell you about my a-ha moment recently.
Confession: Sometimes what I tell you that you 'should' do is not actually something you can accomplish. I know, you're thinking I've set you up to fail. No, honestly, I haven't. But I realized that my urgings to you can't always apply all of the time. And I honestly didn't realize that what I was saying was not until recently. Perhaps it is more accurate to say I didn't realize the complexity of what I was saying until recently. And from all of this came my a-ha moment. I know you can't wait to hear. It is, actually, relevant, and probably something of which you are already aware, and it's just me coming to this realization at this late hour but ... I'm going to share this with you anyway. Bear with me.
1. I have on these pages spouted off fairly regularly urging you to make time for yourself, make time to workout and exercise, and find the time to do what gives helps you focus and get your refill your energy reserve. For me, it is important to me to make time for exercise. This is when I am just me, not a mom, not a wife. Just me, my motivation to move, and whatever form of exercise II am doing at that moment. At any other moment in the day, I am available for my kids, my hubby, and my friends; when I workout, it is for me. Working out time = my time.
2. Another aside: I know I have often said how strong our connection is to our kids. I know I have regularly said that you as a parent know best, and you hear what your kids are saying better and with a more open heart than do others. You are their best advocate, their biggest fan, and their confidante. You have a connection above all others. You have an awareness of your kids above others.
3. Not all conditions of parenthood are absolute. There is no rule that can apply 100% of the time.
So. Let me set the scene: recently, we've started doing yoga. A group of us (sadly, all ladies. C'mon men, I know you like and can benefit from yoga too!) found an instructor and organized a time that works for most of us on a fairly regular basis, and we get together and find some zen moments. The setting is idyllic: we have ocean right in front of us, and behind, a beautiful green park (no small accomplishment here in this city where yard space is generaly tiny and tiled, and parks only exist in one's imagination).
As the yoga session draws to an end, each yogi brings themselves to Savasana which is a final resting pose; this post isn't about getting rest so much as a challenge to take the time to focus on mental awareness instead of focusing on the body; when in savasana, one isn't so much relaxing as focusing awareness on breath and away from the body. This can be a very powerful few minutes, rewarding each yogi with a clearer focus and awareness of themselves, of their breath and a peaceful clarify.
Generally, I have no problem at all, achieving a deep focus during savasana. This is a great gift of time for me, as I am one who likes to push push push and cram too much into my week. Usually, this little lapse in noise is just what I need to recharge. This past week, though, it was not to be. My middle son had come along to play in the park below our yoga spot, and even though he and his friend were being very respectful, talking in hushed tones and trying to avoid our general area, I could not not hear his voice; my focus was solely on him. This was a big aha for me: my connection with my son is bigger than my intent to concentrate on me-time. It's bigger than my determination to focus; even with my eyes closed and body relaxed, I could still find him in my nearness.
As parents, our connection to our kids is not tenuous unless we let it be. Our commitment to our own time is important, yes, but ... some people can trump it. It can't happen all of the time; then we start feeling the neglect to our own selves, but the importance of our little people is irrefutable. And instead of feeling put-upon or as though I didn't finish my time to refuel, I felt rewarded in the knowledge that what my kids and I share? That's bigger than anything.